Who remembers seeing a dolphin and sea lion show at Canada’s Wonderland? If you visited the park during the 80s and 90s, chances are you may have been treated to a marine show under a big tent in Hanna-Barbera Land in the northwest section of the park.
Originally called Saltwater Circus, the aquarium venue opened with the park in 1981. Its name changed to the Bedrock Aquarium in 1987 and closed down in 2002 when Nickelodeon Central replaced the northern section of Hanna-Barbera Land.
The marine shows featured “the antics of playful dolphins and saucy sea lions” with a big saltwater pool and stage set against a Hanna-Barbera character backdrop where the likes of Fred, Wilma, Scooby-doo and Huckleberry Hound sat in their own bandstand seats watching the show. Dolphins were included in the shows up until 1993, after which the park only featured sea lions and seals.
The name of the marine show changed over the years from ‘Fred Flintstone’s Sea Circus’ to ‘Hanna-Barbera Sea Circus’ to ‘Saltwater Friends’ and finally ‘Splashdown! A Sea Lion Show’.
The description of Fred Flintstone’s Sea Circus in the 1987 park guide said, “With Fred Flintstone as your host, our popular dolphins and mischievous sea lions team up to delight the entire family with their amazing aquabatic feats.”
The 1995 Paramount Canada’s Wonderland Park Guide, described the show as such: “Come and meet our Sea Lion movie stars, live at Bedrock Aquarium! Fresh from their acting debut as “Andre” in the Paramount movie of that name, two of our sea lions want to show you how it’s done in the “Biz” – and introduce you to a new friend!”
Have a look at these photos from the show and take a trip down memory lane.
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